Manchester City are laying the foundations to bring former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola to England. The Daily Star Sunday says City hope to give the job to ex-Barcelona ace Txiki ­Begiristain - a close friend of ­Guardiola.

His appointment, which includes responsibility for recruiting players, comes after he turned down a similar offer from Tottenham.

But it is just the first step on the road to City's goal of bringing former Barca boss Guardiola to the Etihad.

Begiristain's arrival means a major shake-up of backroom duties, with a reduced role for football administrator Brian Marwood.